Justification by Faith
Posted on 23 August 2017 09:32 AM
Q. How does the atonement and justification by grace fit together. Doesn't the death of Christ and the death of the sinner atone for sins? Is it not a work to atone partly for sins?
A. First let us understand this: Christ's shed blood is the only atonement that is recognized by God for our salvation. This is justification by grace or faith. If you or I have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and believe (faith) that He has died and risen for our sins, then by Faith we are justified. How then can we understand the death of the sinner being an atonement?
Look at it in this manner: the sinner (without Christ) will die for their sin because the wages of sin is death, and they have not accepted Christ's death in their behalf. Yet, we all still die whether or not we have accepted Jesus, this is not an atonement at all but a consequence of sin. Sin has resulted in degeneration in nature and man. This death is but a sleep, it is not eternal.
The word atonement is broken down to, at one ment. We can understand it this way, Jesus taking our death penalty brings us back to being one with God. The death that Jesus died was not a consequence of sin but the penalty for sin, which He being without sin died on our behalf so we do not have to suffer the second death which is spoken of in Revelation.
Our works are not works of our own hands, but is fruit that is revealed by the Spirit working in and through us. As we daily die to self by inviting Jesus to sit on the throne of our heart and listening to His Spirit speaking to us our works, or "fruit" bears witness that Jesus is in us. Our physical death is the consequence of sin and in no way an atonement for sin. All die the first death but those faithful alive at Jesus return. The second death is the penalty for sin received only by the unrepentant sinner who does not accept the gift of Jesus taking their penalty upon Himself.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection. 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
We see in Hebrews where it talks about our first death and points to the judgement which determines if we shall die the eternal or second death.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
We see clearly now that there are 2 resurrections. The first is for the righteous and they will not die “the second death” the second resurrection is for the unrighteous and they will die “the second death” in the hell fire that will not burn forever but until it is burned up. The sinner will die the second death, eternally to be no more. This is the death penalty that Christ died for us, thus those who accept him will not taste death (eternal death). So sad to think that forgiveness, deliverance, and eternal life are so close and so free and so many will pass it by.
Here are some links for more study on this subject and those connected with it:
Keywords: Righteousness by faith, living by faith, faith and works, perfection, grace, atonement